Are You Willing to Stretch?

Since 2005, I have been a personal business coach in The Woodlands. Whether you are in The Woodlands, another state or a foreign country, all business coaching is personal. Good business coaching is always about a person or persons, in the cases where I collaborate with and support teams.

Today, there are many different types of coaches who can fill various needs. There are health coaches, financial coaches, life coaches and the list goes on and on. Regardless of the type of coach you are, all business coaching as well as coaching in the other disciplines does include some aspects of self-improvement business coaching, self-improvement coaching or as some call it, personal development business coaching or personal development coaching.

All coaching is geared in some way to your self-improvement and personal development. The one foundational principle behind all types of coaching is this. It is your willingness and ability to stretch. When you stretch you are looking for ways to grow, learn and develop. And when you hire a coach, whether it be a personal business coach, life coach or some other coach you are saying that you are willing to stretch and, most importantly to be held accountable for the results of your stretching.

When you decide to stretch you are saying that you no longer want to be the same today as you were yesterday. Only when you stretch and bring more value to others will your business and life change. It will change because you have decided to improve yourself.

You are like the rubber band. As a rubber band, if you choose to stay in the box or the bag as a rubber band, you are worthless. The only value a rubber band has is when it is stretched. Unlike the rubber band, you have some inherent value. It’s only when you decide to stretch that you become of more value and can hold more of the good things that business and life have to offer.

No matter what type of coach you collaborate with: business coach, personal development coach, personal business coach, self-improvement business coach, life coach, health coach or coaches in other disciplines, be ready and willing to stretch. That’s what the coaching experience is about.

Business Coaching In Houston

Today there are a multitude of options when it comes to business coaching in Houston.  And, at the very least, that can bring confusion for those who are seeking out business coaching in Houston. The real problem, if you are looking for business coaching in Houston is:  Who do I hire and partner with?

To find the best business coach ask yourself one question:

  1. What is the real problem that I have?
  2. What are the consequences of not solving the problem?
  3. And, if I am presented with a solution, will I be open to utilizing it?

Mentally and emotionally you must be in the right mindset for coaching to work.  Depending on who you hire and what you wish to accomplish plan to carve out anywhere from 2 to 8 hours a month.  You will have to be committed to fitting coaching into your schedule.  Also, you are very likely going to have assignments for which you will be held accountable.

So, once you are clear on the above you are ready to pursue finding a business coach.  Fortunately, in Houston there are many options.  How well you interview your prospects for a business coach and how well they interview you will determine whether or not you decide to collaborate together.

When it comes to business coaching in Houston you have two broad areas to choose from.  You have the “program” business coaches who espouse and support programs with which they are affiliated.  Some examples are the John Maxwell coaches, Action Coach, Growth Coach and Focal Point Coaching.  They offer great value for those where it is the right fit.

The second area of business coaching in Houston are the independent business coaches.  They may be able to more specifically cater to a particular area of need.  For example, you may have an independent business coach that specializes in start-ups.  Or another may have great marketing expertise.  Once again, they offer great value if they are the right fit.

In my practice, as an independent business coach, I end up collaborating with 2 of every 10 people I interview.  Everyone I interview is fascinating in their own way.  Yet, even if there is an immediate connection, I am always looking strategically to see if there is a long-term fit.  Why?  I have discovered over the last 14 years that the best results for the client come over a period of time and not in one or two meetings.

I am not the business coach for everyone.  As you interview business coaches and you get the feeling that they see themselves as the business coach for everyone I would definitely hit the pause button and ask more questions.  Connection is important.  Yet the ability to collaborate over a period of time will increase the odds of success.

As you look at business coaching in Houston, know that the right coach for you is out there.  Interview your business coaching candidates. Reflect on what you hear, what you see and what you feel.  When you do, you will more than likely make the right decision in hiring a business coach.

Definitions: Part 5-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the last post we looked at the terms shifts, leaps, strengths and their definitions. In this post, we will look at symptom, motivation, and vision. Looking at how these four terms are defined will give us greater insight into what a personal business coach or a personal development coach may need to know to better coach his or her client. These four terms, symptom, motivation, vision and tolerations are key to understanding what is going on your business and life as well as those you may coach.

Symptom:When you think of a symptom very often it is in relationship to health. For example, if someone has a fever it may be a symptom of the flu. Very often symptoms give us a clue to something bigger that we can’t see, yet encourages us to ask more questions and to explore.

What is a symptom? The visible expression of a condition or situation; something that indicates the presences of something else. For example, if my client is speaking very quickly, he or she may be upset or not sure of what to say.

Yes, symptoms are clues. And in self-improvement business coaching, being able to recognize symptoms and to dig deeper to discover what they may be covering is essential to supporting my clients.
Like a good detective, the personal development business coach must see the symptoms, the clues, and then piece things together to solve the puzzle.

Motivation: An incentive or inducement to action. An example may be a client who is working hard at improving his or her communication skills because he or she wants to be promoted.

Notice that motivation is an incentive or inducement. Once the incentive or inducement is no longer available then what? A big part of continuous self-improvement is to always have an incentive or inducement to be your best.
Yet, to have success, motivation alone is not enough. If your intuition and discernment are off and you are not employing your strengths, you could set the wrong goals and priorities. When this happens, you start hurdling down the wrong path.

When you realize that your motivation has taken you down the wrong path what must you do to turn yourself around? You need more education. You must become educated about what brought you to going down this path that is taking you away from your goal of self-improvement. Secondly, you must get more education, or at the least re-educate yourself, so you can create a new pathway to turn yourself around.

Vision: A vision is simply something you see. A personal vision is something seen for the future. It involves anticipation, foresight, perception conception, and desire. It is a scene you create that is your vision of the future.

A personal or business vision is based on wants, needs, values, and goals. A vision may be singular in nature or involve many facets. The greatest value of creating a common vision that you and your client can share is that you both have a clear focus on where you want to be in the future.

With a common vision of the future it becomes much easier to co-create the mind maps that will be needed to take the client to the future he desires. Finally, the power of a vision, the future, is an awesome force. The vision of the future encourages us to become more. Also, it brings purpose to the present. With a clear vision of the future what you need to do in the present becomes absolutely clear.

Take a close look at these three terms, symptom, motivation and vision. Understand what they can do for you and your client. Symptoms can help uncover the true challenges. Motivation will create positive momentum for you and your client to achieve his or her vision. And lastly, but not least important is vision. With a clear vision of the future you will uncover the symptoms to problems that may be holding you back while creating the motivation to accomplish the vision.

How to Build Confidence and Self-Esteem?

How to build confidence and self-esteem? Very often, this question comes up when you feel that you have reached a ceiling in your personal development and growth. You have reached a point where you are asking is there more to my business and life? To move your business and life to the next level you have to become more. Only when you enlarge yourself will new opportunities find you.

How do you build confidence and self-esteem? Confidence is your ability and belief to take new action. As you know, taking the same actions will yield similar results to what you are achieving now. When it comes to confidence, motivation will get you started but it is the new habit or discipline to that will take you to the next level and keep you going.

Picture yourself driving on an unpaved road where you have to follow the ruts that have been created when the ground is soft. Wherever the ruts take you is where you will have to go. The same is true with your business and life. To experience greater satisfaction and fulfillment you must be willing to create new ruts. Confidence is the ability to create new ruts. New ruts will lead you to new opportunities for personal development and growth.
We have looked at confidence. Now let’s look at self-esteem. Self-esteem is how you believe about yourself. When it comes to trying something new it is very simple. You either believe you can, or you can’t. What you believe you can do is a measurement of your self-esteem. And, your self-esteem will rise as you take new actions and encounter success and failure.

You say, “Wait a minute?” “Failure cannot raise my self-esteem.” If you look at your failures as the necessary stepping stones to learn to be successful on another level then your perspective changes. Without failure we cannot know success. Very successful people fail often and reduce the cycle time it takes to experience success.

The fear of failure may be holding you back. But, something else may be holding you back, the fear of success. The fear that you cannot become the person you must become to have the level of success you desire. You can start today to build confidence and self-esteem. How? Take action. Action cures fear. Action shows you the possibilities. Continued purposeful action will show you the path to success.

Act today and you will build your confidence and self-esteem.

Definitions: Part 3-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

Previously, we looked at needs, wants goals and priorities.  A personal business coach or a personal development business coach also has to bring an aptitude to help the person being coached to better understand themselves internally.  As a business coach in Houston, I believe the following are areas that most coaches, regardless of the category, life coach, self-improvement coach, business coach or some other coaching discipline, use to benefit their clients.  Interestingly, regardless of the type of coach, they are all focused in some shape or form on self-improvement tips that can accelerate the process of your successful performance. This is critical because in the self-improvement business coaching model, all progress starts from within.  The first place to better understand yourself is with intuition.

Intuition:  This is the perception of truth, facts, information, or other input not based on any reasoning process.  It is the ability to have insight into something based on our own inner knowledge and truth, and not on external stimulus.  Intuition is that “little voice from within.”  Here’s what’s interesting.  The “little voice from within” very often counsels and supports our fears.  When our fears are affirmed, rightly or wrongly, they will keep us from taking a path to self-improvement.

The key to intuition and the “little voice from within” is to understand what we are truly saying when we talk to ourselves.  With self-improvement our intuition and what “the little voice from within” is saying to us will change over time as we gain in self-confidence and are on a more certain path.

Discern:  This means to be able to perceive and distinguish between things, usually through intuition or other internal knowledge. It means to recognize contrasts such as good and bad, right and wrong, timely and untimely, truth and untruth, real and false. Discernment is your natural ability to see at times what can’t be seen as well as what you can see and to take a course of action.

To move your self-improvement to the next level be aware of your level of discernment. For example, if you feel that very often you don’t see things coming or are often surprised in ways that are not pleasant, this is a call to up your level of discernment.  After all, only you can protect yourself from you.

Solutions:  The answers and/or solutions to a particular problem, situation, challenge, or dilemma.  For example, a common solution to miscommunication is to clarify what you hear the other person saying.  “Just to make sure I understand.  You said that we are going to meet next Wednesday, not next Tuesday?”

Solutions bring clarity.  Here’s a point that as a personal business coach, personal development business coach, or as a self-improvement business coach that I must always keep in mind for myself and my clients.  An answer is not necessarily a solution.  It is just an answer.  If the answer is something that can be reasonably implemented, then it can become a solution.  Very often an answer is the premise for a solution.

For example, a company wants to reach the next level.  The answer is to increase sales.  The solution is how to go about increasing sales.  In this situation we have an answer, to increase sales.  But, until how to increase sales is defined, we do not have a solution.

Environment:  The environment we are in is critical to our well being and our ability to embrace self-improvement.  In fact, one of the great challenges of personal business coaching is to support the client in creating the environment necessary for his or her personal development and improvement.

Environment can be defined as the aggregate or combination of surrounding things, conditions, and influences, including social, cultural, relational, personal, and professional forces, that shape the life of a person.

In conclusion, when you develop your intuition, you will discern better.  When you do these two things you will come up with solutions more quickly and as you do, you will create an environment that will support your continued self-improvement.  There are many self-improvement tips and ideas and my hope is that the above gives you some insights into how a self-improvement coach in Houston or anywhere in the world can support you in creating the business and life you desire.

In the next post, we will look at shifts, leaps and strengths.  All of which are key markers on the road to your successful performance.

Definitions: Part 2-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the previous post, I have shared some of the definitions to bring a better understanding as to what a personal business coach does, or as they are also called, personal development business coaches. Self-Improvement business coaching which is truly what a personal business coach or personal development business coach does can, like any coaching, have tangible and intangible results.  Whether I am business coaching in Houston or outside the area my goal is to collaborate with my clients to see real benefits as well as discovering others that are not so readily seen.

When you have an understanding of the terms and their definitions that coaches use, you will gain insight into how a personal development business coach or a personal business coach may benefit you.

Self-improvement does not happen in a vacuum.  The greatest strides in self-improvement are intentional.  They are intentional in that they require us to reach out and beyond ourselves to obtain the feedback and education to create our personal path to greater growth, satisfaction and happiness.  With that in mind, let’s continue our voyage of self-discovery and understanding with some more definitions.

Needs:  To me, as a personal business coach, the understanding of needs is central to connecting with a person you are coaching.  And, if you aren’t a personal development business coach, your ability to understand your needs will provide an essential key as to what drives you and what path you must take to self-improvement.

Needs are the emotional aspects that drive individuals.  The driving force behind needs is based in a human yearning for wholeness.  Often, needs direct major life decisions until they are met. Needs can also sit on top of, or get in the way of, a person’s clearly identifying their values and living life based on those values.

The kinds of needs I am discussing here go beyond the basic needs for food, air, water, and shelter to the things that person feels they must have.  Notice the word “feels.”  What you feel is emotional and defines your needs and drives you to satisfy them.  For example, one person may feel the need to be accepted.  Another has to accomplish. Needs take many forms such as acknowledgement, to be loved, to be right, or to be cared for.

People have multiple needs.  Yet, to be a successful personal development business coach you must be able to identify two or three key needs of your client.  If you create pathways to meet these needs, you have provided great value on a person’s path of self-improvement.

Wants:  All of us can get our needs confused with our wants. What’s the difference between a want and a need.  Wants, unlike needs, are flexible and/or optional; if you get it, great, if not, you are still okay.  When your needs are met, and your life is oriented to your values, your wants tend to proportionately decrease. For example, a person may want to succeed in business, have a great body, or have a big house.  Since these are flexible, they can change over time.

Goals:  A lot is written about goals and rightfully so.  Goals allow us to create a future and a pathway for our self-improvement.  With a goal, once the future is finished in your mind, then what you need to do in the present becomes absolutely clear.

A goal is the objective of a strategy.  Or, I like this definition.  A goal is a dream with a deadline.  A goal can be very simple or extremely complex. It is the result or achievement, toward which effort is directed:  the aim or end of something.  A goal implies that work (or effort) is involved to achieve it.

Priorities:  If you are to accomplish your goals, meet your needs and satisfy some of your wants, you must have priorities.  A priority is something that takes precedence over something else: something given special attention.  In general, priorities are a set of ideals (physical, spiritual, or emotional), that when grouped together compose the items most important to an individual.  They are considered to be at the top of any list of things to achieve in any area of life.  As an aside, there are many self-improvement tips, self-improvement tips and ideas or tips on self-improvement or however you wish to phrase it.  Yet, without priorities, most people will not take the first step, which is taking action, to enhance their self-improvement.

Moving forward on your path of self-improvement take a moment to write down your needs, your wants and your goals.  Then decide what your priorities are to achieve in each of these areas.  When you do, you will start creating pathways to accelerated the process of your successful performance.

Definitions: What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

To better understand self-improvement coaching and what a personal business coach does, or as they are also called, personal development business coaches, I find that a great deal of the mystery around coaching can be taken away when we understand some key terms and how they are defined.

Self-improvement does not happen by itself.  All of us can improve some without a focus.  We have to do that to live, let alone to survive.  Yet, to live a happier, more fulfilling and peaceful life it is important to understand the definitions of key words that are central to the overall theme of self-improvement business coaching. In a way, these words provide some key tips on self-improvement.

Personal Foundation:  This is a structural basis to support an individual in living an exceptional life. The personal foundation is comprised of three elements:  the Who, the What, and the How.  Your personal foundation will determine where and how far you can go in your self-improvement.  The good news is that your personal foundation can be made stronger.

Personal Growth/Development:  Personal growth and development is the overall process of evolving to fully express your purpose and values.

Self:  Our “self” is who we are versus the terms we use to label ourselves.  It is our distinct personality that creates our individuality.  We draw upon this self as we are called upon to respond to the world.

Integrity:  Integrity is a state of personal wholeness, well-being, and fulfillment—not something to achieve, but rather a statement of our being.  It is a reflection of who you are in any moment and is the dynamic relationship you maintain between purpose and path.  It is vigilant development, or continual adjustment, of the fit between our calling and our conduct that allows us to sustain a high level of integrity.  Integrity, in my opinion, is one the key words in guiding us to a better life.

Values:  Values are ideals that are personally important and meaningful for you and draw you forward.  Values are inherent in each person’s makeup; we all have them.  They are specific and individual, but people can share common values.  For example, people often value honesty, openness, and respect in a conversation.

It is important to know your values.  It is critical to know the values of those you associate with.  As a personal development business coach or when I am doing personal business coaching I strongly encourage my clients to know the values of those they associate with.

An example that comes to mind was a discussion I was in where the person was having a lot of relational disruption with a group of people who were, in his opinion, important to his business.  I asked him to articulate the values of the individuals in this group of people.  At first, he resisted.  He said, “They have good values.”  Yet as he explored it and spoke about the people it became obvious they all had the same values, but they were not his.  Interestingly, they were thieves of other people’s time and money.

The conclusion was that someone can tell you they have good values.  Yet, without a frame of reference we cannot know if they are good or not.  A group of thieves all have the same values.  And they think those are good values.  Always know the values of others.  What tips on self-improvement can we take away from this story?

Know your values.  Know the values of others.  When you do, you are less likely to put yourself in situations where you are compromising your values and your principles.  When you do compromise in those areas it diminishes your authenticity and your trust which leads us down a path to poorer relationships and more problems.

In self-improvement coaching, I always ask my clients to identify their values.  When you know your values, your self-improvement can rise to a higher level because you will make better decisions that will honor you and your gifts and talents.

In the next post we will continue with some more definitions to bring more clarity to your self-improvement.

Are You Ready to Work with a Personal Business Coach?

Are you ready to work with a personal business coach?  Or, another way to say this is, are you going to be receptive to self-improvement business coaching?

Over many years of coaching I have observed that those who do well with my style of personal development business coaching, have a good personal foundation.  They have many things working for them.  They are now at a point where they want to take it to their business and life to the next level.

What is the next level, you ask?  It is a good question.  There are hundreds of paths to self-improvement and they all lead to the same place.  So, it really doesn’t matter which path you take.  What matters is that you take a path and commit to it.  That’s where I come in to support others in going on their chosen pathway.

I am not here to fix anyone.  I am not here to help anyone.  Yet, I am here to give others my unconditional support.  A fix it mentality in coaching or the “I am here to help” offering, for me, is starting from a negative.  The implication is that something is wrong.  The truth is there is something wrong, or that can be improved in all of us.  That includes myself.

To me, the best path for self-improvement business coaching has four key elements.

  1.  Unconditional support
  2.  Accountability for the things the client wants to be held accountable for
  3.  Collaboration:  This is not about me and you.  It is about us.
  4.  Co-creation of pathways to accelerate the process of the client’s successful

performance.

Now that I have listed the components for successful self-improvement business coaching I want to get back to the original question, “What is the next level?”

The next level for virtually everyone is greater peace of mind and happiness.  You may say, and rightly so, this doesn’t make sense.  Don’t most people want more success in their businesses and lives financially?  Yes, in a sense.  No one has ever hired me and said, “I want to earn less money and have a diminished lifestyle?  All of them would like to earn more, sometimes it is very little, sometimes it is a great deal more.  Yet, the one thing they almost always agree on is that they want a better lifestyle.

And a better lifestyle, which comprises your business and personal life comes from understanding who you are and what can bring you greater peace and happiness.  Very often, when we focus on what the ultimate goal is, greater peace and happiness, we end up doing things that improve our lives and lifestyle significantly in other areas.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a better lifestyle and identifying steps to accelerate the process of your successful performance, you are a good candidate for collaborating with a personal business coach.